We’re finally getting back to the gym. How good does it feel to load up a barbell and get some serious lifting done? Nothing can match the atmosphere of your favourite gym – the music, the kit, the familiar faces.
Our pals at PhD Nutrition want to make sure you start as you mean to go on with simple, solid nutrition support for your training goals.
First Up, What Is Your Training Goal?
It’s been a long lockdown, and some of us haven’t stepped foot in a gym for nearly a year. Start by looking at your training goals for the year.
What do you want to achieve?
Is your goal fat loss, muscle gain, strength, performance?
Where are you now in relation to that goal?
What mini goals do you need to tick off?
What is the first step in your plan?
The 5 Fundamentals of Training Progress
Whatever your training goal, whether it’s a run time or a Tough Mudder event, there are certain things we all need to focus on in 2021 to make the most of our precious training time.
1. Have a training plan. Don’t wing it by walking in to the gym without a plan for that session. Get a structured training plan that spans at least 12 weeks.
2. Progressive overload. Your training plan should work on the basis of gradually increasing load, frequency, and other variables to allow your body to adapt to the stimulus.
3. Training variables. Consider training frequency, weight and load, volume of training, and intensity – they all play a role in creating effective training.
4. Pace yourself. We’re all keen to get back into the gym, but remember that it’s been a while. Build up over a few weeks, take rest days, and listen to your body’s warning signs.
5. Track your progress. Use an app or training log to record your sessions so you can track progress and see how your plan needs to be altered as the months go on.
Revisit Your Daily Nutrition
Training isn’t the only thing impacted by lockdown – your diet might have taken a few knocks, too. Set aside 30 minutes to revisit your calories, macros, and meal prep habits. Good nutrition is the foundation for training performance and recovery.
Calories: how much do you need to eat to support your goal of fat loss, strength, muscle gain, or training output?
Macros: what macro split do you prefer? What does this look like in terms of grams of protein, carbs, fats per day?
Food preferences: what are your go-to foods for healthy eating, and have you got them in the house or do you need to stock up?
Meal timings: when you’re training hard, how many meals do you eat per day? Start to get back into this habit
Food prep: revisit your food prep routines, dig out your meal prep boxes, and set aside time
Supplements: how is your stash of protein powders, daily vitamins, and sports nutrition looking?
Must-have Training Supplements For 2021
We don’t know exactly what your training goal is, but we can suggest some fundamental supplements for any fitness journey. If your supplement stack is looking a bit lonely after lockdown, stock up now before the gyms open.
A good high quality protein powder will support muscle gain and muscle maintenance, and help you hit your macros for any nutrition goal. PhD’s new 100% Whey and 100% Plant are simple, no fuss protein powders that tick all the boxes.
Creatine is a no-brainer addition to any gym supplement stack. It supports strength, muscle gain, and recovery and is a cornerstone of any athlete’s supplement routine. If you’ve got out of the habit of taking creatine, start now and support your back-to-the-gym training programme. Try PhD Creatine Monohydrate powder.
If it’s been a while since you did a full gym workout, a HIIT session, or your favourite workout class you may need a little extra something to get you through. A good quality intra-workout with BCAAs, electrolytes, and protein will support your body and brain. Try PhD Intra BCAA+ for a blend of coconut water extract, BCAAs, glutamine, Vitamin C, and hydrolysed whey isolate.
Training in a busy gym might come as a shock to your body, so protect your health and immune system with a quality daily multivitamin created for people who train. Try PhD Multivitamin with 21 micronutrients and minerals.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are one of the more difficult nutrients to get from a healthy diet, so take the easy route by using a daily omega 3 supplement like PhD Omega-3 softgels. These help your body recover from the demands of getting back to the gym.
With all this training nutrition advice, you’re fuelled and fired up. But how are you going to put it to use? Lock in your Tough Mudder.